Alumni Profile: Kristine Marceau ’06

Alumni Profile: Kristine Marceau
Degree(s): BA ’06 Psychology and Philosophy – UW- Madison; MS ’11, PhD ’13, Developmental Psychology – Penn State
Current Occupation: Associate Professor, Human Development and Family Science, Purdue University

What are some of the benefits of your psychology degree?
Meeting great mentors, finding a path and a career I love

How did you find your way to your current profession?
As an undergraduate I had no idea what psychology research could possibly be. I tore off the number for an advertisement to become involved in research, and met with the researcher contact on the flyer to understand what psychology research even was. Our conversation was amazing, and so I joined the research lab and learned about adolescent development. I fell in love with research – figuring out how to answer questions about why some kids develop problems like substance use and others don’t, and the role genetics and hormones for how kids and families grow and change over time. So, I stayed on to work as a research specialist in another lab at UW-Madison for two years before going on to get a PhD. It’s super fun being on the other end of it now, helping undergraduates learn what research is and how to conduct good science and training graduate students and future research scientists all while answering important questions about human development.

What advice would you give to students graduating with a psychology degree?
Build a support system of family, peers, professors and keep in touch with them. Be kind, be generous with your time and lead by example with a good work ethic – you might find that doors open for you. Find a career that makes you happy doing work that you enjoy doing, but make sure that you can balance with the life you want to live.

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